Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category



So I’ve not posted for a while.  In fact, you’ll note that I mention in the below post that my son was about a month from arriving…  Well, arrive he did.  On 6/18/2012 Tommy arrived and, smiling almost ever since, has kept me fairly occupied.  I don’t mean to blame him so-to-speak for why I’ve not posted anything of substance recently, but, well…  It is what it is.  Hopefully this picture will tide you over till I can find the time and inspiration to post here again.  It will happen; though exactly when I cannot say.

Sad Updates

Its been a while since I’ve written anything here and, though I fully intend to get back to it in the coming months, a couple sad events required mentioning:

MCA died last Friday.  The number of tributes available on the web make this small entry seem, well, really small, but in the timeline of my life his influence was almost immeasurable so some mention is needed on this wall.

Then this morning I find out that Maurice Sendak died.  With my first child about a month out now, his advice:

Parents shouldn’t assume children are made out of sugar candy and will break and collapse instantly. Kids don’t. We do.

Is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently.

A sad couple days.

Shameless Plug – ABA Top 100 Recommendations

Hello dear readers

The ABA is working on their annual list of the Top 100 Legal Blogs in the country.  If you think site is one that is deserving of the honor, would you mind terribly filling out this little form here to let them know?

First Lexis Top 25, now the ABA, then the world!

(Sorry, I got alittle caught up there.)

Leading Ladies – Now On The Small ScreenToo!

In a prior post I commented on a project that I was lucky to be involved in with a client that I had a wonderful time representing: A small, first-time production of a full length feature film that happened to also be a musical.  Leading Ladies had a very successful run on the international festival circuit and has recently achieved the very rare (but also well-deserved) honor of finding distribution.

You can now add Leading Ladies to your Netflix Cue and pre-order a copy of the DVD!

Adding the moving to your cue – by hitting the “Save” button on the Netflix site – costs you nothing but you’ll be helping out talented independant film makers and, when the movie comes out in September, if you want, you’ll get to watch one of the most loved movies of 2010-2011 festival circuit.  To get a preview of what reviewers and critics have said about the movie check this out.


Hans Sarji’s Awesome Post About The New Bi-partisan Effort To Repeal The Estate Tax

I frequently reference other blogs here.  I’ll typically use such content as a jumping off point to ruminate on the same subject or to dovetail into a separate but related subject…  Not this time.

This post yesterday from Hans Sarji who publishes Estate of Confusion – which is another honoree by LexisNexis as one the nation’s top 25 Probate, Elder Law and Estate Planning blogs – is just so good that all I can do is point your way to it and insist that you read it.

On March 30, 2011, Rep. Kevin Brady[R-TX-8] introduced a bill in U.S. House of Representatives—H.R. 1259, the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2011.

As of April 1, 2011, four representatives are cosponsoring the bill. Two representatives are Democrats: Rep. Dan Boren [D-OK-2], Rep. Kristi L. Noem [R-SD], Rep. Devin Nunes [R-CA-21], Rep. Mike Ross [D-AR-4].

Repeal estate tax. These representatives believe that the federal estate tax should be permanently repealed. They provide a number of reasons.

  • Hurts family farms and small businesses. In the press releasefor H.R. 1259, Rep. Brady stated, “The Death Tax is still the #1 reason family farms and businesses in America aren’t passed down to the next generation. It’s the wrong tax at the wrong time and hurts the wrong people.” Rep. Boren explained, “Estate taxes are especially harmful to farmers, ranchers, and other small businesses because these operations tend to be capital-intensive with a high concentration of assets tied up in land, buildings, and equipment.”
  • Destroys jobs. In a telephone news conference on March 31, 2011, Rep. Brady said, the estate tax “destroys jobs, lowering employment in America by 1.5 million jobs. And it’s because small business are responsible for 60 to 80% of all new jobs in the last decade, and ending the estate tax would give our economy a $119 billion boost.” 
  • Hurts savers. Rep. Brady asked, “Can you imagine working your whole life to build up a nest egg or family business – only to see Uncle Sam swoop in to take more than half of it upon your death?”
  • Is poorly timed. Rep. Noem said, “The death tax is unfair and hurts family farms, ranches and small businesses at the worst possible time . . . Death simply should not be a taxable event.” Rep. Nunes argued, “There is no reason why American families should have to answer a knock on the door by the IRS during a time of sorrow.”
  • Is a form of double taxation. Rep. Nunes referred to the estate tax as “one of the worst forms of double taxation in the United States. He explained, “Money that has already been taxed when a person is alive is taxed yet again at death.”

Repeal GST tax. In addition to permanently repealing the federal estate tax, H.R. 1259 would permanently repeal the generation-skipping transfer tax.

Permanent gift tax reform. Further, H.R. 1259 would keep the gift tax at rate of 35%, with an exemption of $5 million for individuals. The gift tax is currently levied at a rate of 35% for transfers over $5 million. But unless Congress acts, the gift tax is scheduled to increase in 2013. The rate in 2013 would jump to 55% and the exemption would drop to a mere $1 million. For more about this scheduled tax increase, see Wealth Transfer Taxes In 2013.

Effective date. Changes made by H.R. 1259 would be effective on the day the bill becomes law.

That’s all you get.  Read the rest of the post here.

Damn fine job Hans.  Keep up the great work.

Thanks For Voting!

Thank you to all who voted for this blog as one of LexisNexis’ Top 25 Estate Probate and Elder Law Blogs of 2011!  You did it!  I am honored to count myself among such a great list of winning blogs.  All of their publishers work hard to make their blogs entertaining and informative so its nice to see them getting the recognition they deserve.

I’ll post again about this when they start the voting for the TOP blog, but until then, thanks for reading!


Last Day To Vote!

In a prior post I announced that this blog had been nominated as a “Top Estate, Probate, and Elder Law Blog” by LexisNexis.  Well today is the last day to vote for your favorite blog.  To vote for me (or anyone else):
  1. Click on the image below or click here.
  2. Create a free LexisNexis Communities account (if you don’t have one).
  3. Post a comment indicating that you are voting for The Ohio Trust & Estate Blog –  (Comments count as votes.)


Thanks!  And thanks for reading!

“Top Blog” Nomination by LexisNexis


 LexisNexis Estate Practice & Elder Law Blogs 2011

I’m happy to announce that the Estate Practice & Elder Law Community at LexisNexis has nominated The Ohio Trust & Estate Blog as one of their “Top Blogs” for 2011.

If you happen to be a member of that community you can nominate your favorite blog here and, when the time comes, cast your vote.  They’ve nominated some of my favorites, many of whom I’m pleased to also be able to call my friends.

Thanks LexisNexis!

And thank you for reading.

Estate Tax Deal? 35%, $5 Million Exemption, Questions Remain

According to this article on last night, it looks like we could have deal in the works that would restore the estate tax.  It looks most likely right now that the tax would affect all estate valued in excess of $5 million for individuals and $10 million for married couples – so no portability here – with a maximum rate of 35%, but questions remain.  Will it be phased in?  If so how and over how much time?  Will there be any period of retroactivity?  (Doesn’t seem likely but…) If so, how long and in what form?

This isn’t a done deal yet – though it appears fairly solid – and until we get signatures on paper I’m, well, cautious.  I wouldn’t go updating your end of year gifting plans just yet but stay tuned for more details as I’ll be keeping a close watch over the next few days/weeks.

Interview With Professor Daniel Pinello

I am excited to be interviewing soon with Professor Daniel Pinello for his new book on the effects of state constitutional amendments that ban marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships, etc. (called Super-DOMAs) for lesbian and gay pairs.

Dan contacted me a couple weeks ago and in addition to being a very nice man, he appears to be the real deal.  His credentials and list of publications (available above) are impressive and worth checking out.  I’m flattered to be considered a potential resource for his next work of scholarship on this very important subject.